středa 23. listopadu 2011

The secret lives of Baba Segi's wives - Lola Shoneyin

For Baba Segi, his collections of wives and children are signs of his virility. All runs smoothly in the polygamous home until wife number four arrives. Bolande is a soft-spoken university graduate who is quickly ostracised by her illiterate co-wives. However, she is determined to give Baba Segi the children he expects. Her failure to conceive exposes a dark family secret. This revelation has devastating consequences for the entire household. With sardonic humour, Lola Shoneyin unravels the rotten innards of this polygamous household in a cleverly-plotted story.

Don't get my wrong, I didn't only come here to get away from my mother; I came to escape the feeling of filth that followed me. If I stayed at home, I know the day would come when Mama would open my bedroom door and find the pools of blood at my wrists.
After everything happened, I tried hard to continue being myself but I slowly disappeared. I became Bolanle - the soiled, damaged woman. Except that was hard too because Mama kept trying to make me do all the things the old Bolanle would have done. Don't you think you should get a job, Bolanle? Won't you apply for this bank job in the newspapers, Bolanle? Didn't you see the handsome boy that was looking at you, Bolanle? How could I tell her that I had failed to preserve my dignity? I was too ashamed to let her see the fickle shell I'd become. Inevitably, it became unbearable. The more she pushed, the more I resisted. I didn't want a job! I didn't want a white wedding! I just wanted the war between who I used to be and who I'd become to end. I didn't want to fight any more.
Somehow, it all made perfect sense when I met Baba Segi. At last, I would be able to empty myself of my sorrow. I would be with a man who accepted me, one who didn't ask questions or find my quietness unsettling. I know Baba Segi wouldn't be like younger men who demanded explanations for the faraway look in my eye. Baba Segi was content when I said nothing.
So, yes. I chose this home. Not for the monthly allowance, not for the lace skirt suit, and not for the coral bracelets. Those things mean nothing to me. I chose this family to regain my life, to heal in anonymity. And when you choose a family, you stay with them. You stay with your husband even when your friends call him a polygamist ogre. You stay with him when your mother says he's an overfed orangutan. You look at him in another light and see a large but kindly, generous soul.

"The gods forbid it! We forbid it! We will not let it happen. Look what I have brought you." Iya Segi slipped me a small plastic bag bound several times over with a rubber band.
"Iya Segi, you have the heart of a lion and the wisdom of a tortoise. What better day to bring that monkey to justice?"
"Keep your voice down." Iya Segi peered out of the back door. "Iya Tope must not hear of this. Who knows where her weakness is leading her?"
"Yes, it is between us. We must settle this matter. And God will help us."
"Listen to me. Place Bolanle's portions outside her bedroom door like we normally do when she doesn't join us. When she returns this evening, we will greet her as if all is well so she does not suspect anything."
"How quickly does it work? Will we have cause to rejoice by tomorrow morning?"
"Mr Taju said the medicine man who sold it to him promised immediate results. He said it was collected from the fangs of a cobra. Taju lied that it was for easing life out of an ailing dog. When the poison turns her belly, Baba Segi will be forced to take her to her father's house."
"You can count on me, Iya Segi. Evildoers should get what they deserve. The Bible says so."
As soon as Iya Segi left the kitchen, I tore at the bundle impatiently. The Lord is going to use me to conquer my enemy. The mantle of justice has fallen on me. Ha! I am blessed.

"I know the reason why Bolanle has not conceived," she continued, "and it its not one that a thousand doctors can cure. Yam cannot cook itself. It needs a careful hand that will slice it and expose it to raging heat."
Baba Segi gasped in confusion.
"I am not quiete sure I understand you." Dr Dibia wanted Iya Segi to spell things out for her husband.
"That is because you are young and do not know the ways of the world. I was a young wife when I found myself in a cloud of sadness. I was childless and restless. Every time I saw a mother rocking a baby on her back, my nipples would itch to be suckled. My husband and I tried everything. He did not let my thighs rest but leapt between them every time dusk descended upon us. Even his mother was hungry for his seed to become fruit. Then, I had and idea. It was a sinful idea but I know it would bring my sadness to an end. In fact, it was more than an idea; it promised to be a solution. If my husband did not have seed then what harm could it do to seek it elsewhere?" She shrugged her shoulders. "So, I found seed and planted it in my belly."
Baba Segi turned his side to his wife and looked at her through one eye only. His arm was raised in defence as if to shield himself from the odious suggestions hidden in her parables.
"Are you saying your husband is not the biological father of your first child?" Dr Dibia asked. Eureka!
"Not my first, not my second."
Baba Segi ducked as if someone had taken a swing at his face. "Woe! It cannot be!"
"And the other wives? What about their children? Dr Dibia asked. It might as well come out in one big gush; better that than in dribs and drabs.
"I misled them. Perhaps if I had not shown the second one my way, this shame would have come out sooner. But you see, they were so desperate to be fruitful. They knew that my husband valued children above all things so when I saw their desperation, I took pity on them and shared my secret. They also followed the same path."

úterý 22. listopadu 2011


Prisel nam balik z Libanonu. Aniccino obleceni na cely rok dopredu, boty o dve az tri cisla vetsi, nejake hracky a mezi nema bajbybornacke mimiiiiiiiiiiiii. “Mimiiiiii” kricela Anicka cela stastna, kdyz spatrila na stole otevrenou krabici a v ni v modrych sateckach plastovou panenku. “Mimiii, mimiii” rozlehalo se celym bytem, kdyz ji brala do rukou, pusinkovala a hladila ji. Mimiii jsme pak nekolikrat nakrmili, prebalili, prevlekli a ja mezi haji, haci, mnam, ham a kaka pozorovala Anicku, ktera do ted vsechny panenky hazela znechucene zpatky do krabice, aby si z tama vyhrabala cervene porsacke auto, ktere si v Cesku ukradla z pokoje meho brachy; jak najednou plna nehy tiskne plesatou panu na hrud, aby se s ni snad uz po ste pomazlila. A tak autoooo vystridalo mimiiiii, ktere s nama od ted muselo delat vse, co delala Anicka. Kdyz vse, tak vse, rekla jsem si a posadila jsem poprve Anicku a jeji mimiiii na nocnik. Hlasite haciiii pak vystridalo okamzite kakaaaa a ja neuvericne hledela na malou louzicku v Aniccinem nocnicku. Nadsene jsem pak utikala umyt nocnik a napustit vodu do vanicky na vecerni koupani. Mimiiii, ale muselo jit za kazdou cenu s nama. Vyslect Anicku, vyslect mimiii, umyt Anicku, umyt mimiii, osusit Anicku, osusit mimiii, oblect Anicku, oblect mimiiiii, nakrmit Anicku, nakrmit mimiiiiiii. Zvuk slova mimiiii proneseny temi malickymi sespulenymi rtiky se me zacal vryvat az do mozku. “Panenka. Anicko rekni pa nen ka” vyslovovala jsem pomalicku, ale odpovedi me bylo jen dlouhe tahle mimiiiiii. To uz me nadseni z detske nehy vuci panne zacalo prechazet. Panenka pak s nama samozdrejme putovala i do postele. Chytracky jsem ji polozila na polstar a prikryla dekou a za hlasiteho “haji, mimi spinka” jsem tak ulozila i mimi moje opravdove. “Haji, haji, haji” slysela jsem stale vice tlumeneji a kdyz uz jsem chtela pet chvalu na bejbybornacke panenky, ktere nejenze nauci holcicky na nocnicek, ale taky krasne spinkat, se celou mistnosti ozval odporny zvuk mimiiiiiii. Nechala jsem tedy Anicku at si s panenkou jeste chvili hraje, pokousejic se ji znovu vysleknout a sundat plinku a cekala jsem az se unavi sama od sebe. Po hodine me to ale prestalo bavit a vzala jsem Anicku s mimiii do ruk a chodic po loznici s dvanactikilovou zatezi a plastovou rukou rypajici me do ramena, jsem ji nakonec uspala. Rogerovi, ktery uz minuly tyden nadhazoval, ze Anicka je uz velka holka, a nase postel nam vsem trem zacina byt mala, takze by uz konecne mohla zacit spavat ve sve postylce, jsem pak musela vysvetlovat, ze ted nejenze budeme spat v posteli ctyri, ale ze ta madrace pod mimiiii je trosku mokra, protoze ty debilni bejbybornacke panny nejenze muzou jist, pit a koupat se ale oni taky curaji. V noci jsem pak mimiiiii nenapadne vyrvala z Aniccineho pevneho objeti, zavrela ho do skrine a navrch krabice s hrackami dala jeji drive oblibene cervene porsacke autoooooo..

pondělí 14. listopadu 2011

A zase zpatky do tepla...

Kdyz jsme se konecne dockali narozeni druhe bratrovy dcery Terezky...

A zacala byt takova zima, ze kdyz jsem Anicce zvykle jen na tricka a kratasky, oblekla bundu a ta se divajic na sebe v zrcadle, tahajic za rukavy a za kapucu, opakujici porad dokola od starsi sestrenice Lucinky naucenou frazi "Co toto je, co toto je", uznali jsme, ze po dvou mesicich prazdnin v Cesku, je cas k navratu zpet do Afriky.

Prahu jsme letos uplne vynechali, hlavne kvuli Anicce, protoze zima uz by nam nedovolovala se jen tak hodiny toulat po meste a v hotelu se nam jenom sedet nechtelo, takze nas tatka odvezl v den odletu primo na letiste. Po dvouch poslednich letech se rvouci Anickou jsem byla pripravena na nejhorsi, ktere se diky Bohu nekonalo a ona cely let z Prahy do Frankfurtu vzorne prospala. Dalsi sestihodinovy let z Frankfurtu do Lagosu si stridave hrala a spala a spolucestujici ji chvalili jak vzorna holcicka je ;)) Joooo kbyby jenom vedeli ;))) Unavou rvat zacala az v aute domu, ale to ji uz nikdo krome nas neslysel ;))) Navrat do Nigerie si stejne jako naposledy poradne odstonala teplotou, prujmem a zvracenim. Diky Bohu, ze mame pres par ulic malou kliniku, kterou vlastni slovenska doktorka Maria, ktera udelala Anicce potrebne testy a pak uz bylo zase dobre a my si zase mohli uzivat teplych dni, treba jen takhle improvizovane na dvore ;))

sobota 5. listopadu 2011

Prazdniny v Cesku - fotoblog

Anicka pak v Cesku oslavila uz po treti svoje prvni narozeniny ;)

Vydovadela se s tatkou, ktery nam pak za 2 tydny odletel zpet za praci do Nigerie, na detskem hristi...

Poznala prababicku Annu, po ktere ma sve prvni jmeno a pradedu, ktereho vzdy uz z dalky zdravila zvednutim ruky, jak ji to on naucil.

A objevovala ...

Ptacky na dvore...

Krtince ...;)
Babiccinu kuchyni...

A strycuv sklep ;)

Aby jsme jen nesedeli doma, zajeli jsme si na vylet do Zoo v Hodonine...

A taky za kamaradkama do Lednice...

Nejvetsi kamaradky se sestrenici Lucinkou...

S Erickem ....

S Dominickem...

A v Cesku take Anicka dostala svou prvni opravdovou pusinku ;))

středa 2. listopadu 2011

Imagine this - Sade Adeniran

Since the age of 9, Lola Ogunwole has written a diary. Born in London to Nigerian parents, Lola and her brother Adebola grow up in a foster home after their mother abandons them. They are briefly reunited with their father when, in danger of losing them for good, he moves them back to Nigeria to live. For Lola, the trauma of leaving London and settling in Lagos is soon overshadowed by separation from her father and the only constant in her life, her brother. They are sent to live with different relatives and Lola ends up with her aunt, in a small village called Idogun. With no light, no water and no-one who can understand her English, Lola finds that Idogun is where her struggle for survival really begins.. The novel is a compelling story about the human spirit and resilience against the odds.

He never asked Adebola and me what we wanted. He just came home one day and said we were going back to Nigeria to live. We didn't want to come to Nigeria, but we came and now he's breaking our family up again. I'll be eighteen, an old women, before I ever see Adebola again. He probably won't recognize me. How could Daddy do this? Doesn't he love me any more? Maybe he found out I broke all the glasses on top of the fridge. I didn't mean to, I was just throwing the ball against the kitchen wall because I didn't have anyone to play with.
Everything here is so confusing. I have too many relatives and I don't know how we're related. It seems like I'm related to the whole village. We came to visit once before and I didn't like it then. No-one could understand what I was saying, and hey still can't. Now I'm going to have to spend the rest of my life here with no-one but you to speak to. I prayed and prayed because Daddy said that God answers the prayers of little children, but I must have been really naughty because God didn't answer my prayers.

Father turned up late; I refer to him as father now because that is how I think of him. Daddy is someone you love, someone who kisses away your tears, tells you everything will be all right with your world, someone who is there for you. Father is someone who had a part in your germination but didn't bother to water the seeds so that they would bloom into flowers. A father doesn't care and that is what I have, a father. I've wished with all my heart that I had a Daddy, but as Mr Abraham always says to me, "If wishes were horses, beggars would ride."
Father stood by the grave with me, his hand on my shoulder. His eyes were red as if he hadn't slept. He wasn't supposed to be there. Neither was I. It's taboo: but Father didn't care about tradition and custom; he wanted to see Adebola buried. They buried him in the graveyard between Ugbe and Ishara. The graveyard is on the way to school and I'll have to walk by it every day. Will I ever stop hurting? Will everything really be okay like Uncle N said?
I remember Uncle Joseph asking Father to forgive him, he hadn't realize how sick Adebola was. Father just looked straight through him and didn't say a word. How could he not say anything? I HATE HIM and I'll never forgive him for as long as I live. If we hadn't left London, I'd still have a brother. He'd still be alive. It's all HIS fault.

They say a man does not run among thorns for nothing. Either he is pursuing a snake, or a snake is pursuing him. A venomous snake is definitely pursuing me and I've decided it's time for me to leave. Let them have their flat and their cars and their money. Those possessions means zero to me; there is nothing left for me here. Alhaja advised me and I know it's the best thing to do. I can start again in London. I hope there is money in the accounts over there. If there isn't, I'll still survive. According to the papers I've found, the house in London is now mine. I'm so glad Uncle N gave me Daddy's death certificate for safe keeping. He wanted me to give it back to him the other day but I pretended not to know where I'd put it.
The government in England will pay for my tuition and give me money to survive on. It's better option than the one I have here, particularly as I'll have my own house. I'll finaly free on their charity.